November Chill

November 13, 2006|Posted in: Uncategorized

Got my new glasses and still things are blurry — new eyes: I’m seeing things with new eyes. But why does my title look like “November Chili” to me? Old, I say, old before my time.

Or maybe just in time.

New eyes have it: Friends and I are onto a new project, a consortium of creative inquiry and integrated studies, the result of which will be a new body of work and a higher level of understanding, spirituality and creativity. I’m working on a person vision for this project now, to set just the right tone for what I’m studying. It sounds airy-fairy but it’s not — it’s an intensive course of study with a huge writing component that will result in lots of poetry, essays and the like. Another novel, maybe. It’s kind of like changing the oil in your car, and then seeing how fast and how far you can drive.


A ship is blowing its mighty horn just outside my door — if a quarter-mile across the field and the Estuary is right outside my door. It is so close that my windows and doorjambs are rattling. My desk is rumbling. My drink jittering. A ship from far-off seas outside my door, about to depart, its belly full of T-shirts and auto parts and gumballs and maize. Stuff nobody needs and everyone wants, except maybe the maize, which they’ll make into corn sweetener to sugar up some other nation, increase their diabetes and cavities and obesity levels to match our own. Hey, everyone, be like America! Fat and stupid…it makes one proud. Not.

What does make me proud is people getting out the vote. People wearing red, white and blue. Kids trying their best. People helping strangers by opening their wallets or homes or doors. A genuine compliment. A spontaneous hug from one of our kids. Lots of things in the glad category make me proud. Those are just a scant few.

It’s been a long, lost weekend, and the house is a wreck, and there are no kids here, so we’re to blame. And all I want is a nice warm nap, curled against my man as he watches football/snores, amid the dregs of the Sunday paper and croissants and cold coffee. At 4:42 p.m., probably not wise to nap, but to power through the evening, a simple supper, a half-hour of power cleanup and then early bedtime. We’ll make it so.

Praise Jah — another day in Paradise.

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Julia Park Tracey is an award-winning journalist, author, and blogger. She is the author of six books: three novels, one poetry collection, and two women's history. She was the Poet Laureate of Alameda, California, in 2014-17. She's also the conservatrix of The Doris Diaries, the diaries of her great-aunt Doris Bailey Murphy. She has a BA in journalism from San Francisco State University, and MA in Early 20th C. British Literature from Cal State Hayward. Julia's articles have appeared on Salon, Thrillist, Paste, Scary Mommy, Narratively, Yahoo News, Your Tango, and Sweatpants & Coffee. Her articles have also run in Redbook, Woman's Day, Country Living, House Beautiful, Town & Country, the San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Magazine, Quill, and MadeLocal. She was the founding editor of weekly Alameda Sun and literary zine Red Hills Review. Her poetry has been in The East Bay Literary review, Postcard Poems, Americus Review, Cicada, Tiferet Review, and many others. Julia has been recognized several times by the San Francisco, East Bay and Peninsula Press Clubs as well as the California Newspaper Association for her blogging since 2003.

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